January Update from Denise Colpitts
Middle School has enjoyed a successful first semester. Students have engaged in hands-on learning and meaningful discussions as they explored new topics.
Looking through the lens of Lead From Here, students have also explored aspects of their identity, an important part of adolescent development, and how they engage and interact with others. In February, students will partake in their second lessons from The Social Institute, helping them learn to navigate their social worlds.
As we focus on and expand our efforts to Lead With Others, we recently explored aspects of civil rights, injustice, and justice through a historical viewpoint. Such conversations can be challenging for middle school students. Thus, we began this exploration through the use of children’s books on a variety of topics, leading up to our MLK, Jr. Day of service. While each advisory explored what they knew about MLK, Jr. and civil rights, they read a book that paralleled his life with a timeline of events of the Civil Rights Movement (I’ve Seen the Promised Land, the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, by Coretta Scott King and Walter Dean Myers).
Best practice emphasizes that real world relevancy is a key component of learning for students. We continued our exploration by reading non-fiction children’s books that focused on different aspects of justice experienced in America’s past. Topics ranged from worker’s rights, to wome
n’s rights, to narratives of people who experienced racism, to stories of students with disabilities, among other topics.
Students explored the impact on life then and now using the What? So What? Now What? paradigm. They then engaged in a Gallery Walk, learning about other topics and books explored by peer advisories.
At Parent Conferences, please take a few minutes to view students’ Gallery Walk posters to get a sense of this work. As well, we will be building on these efforts with courageous conversations appropriate to middle school.
Look for an upcoming invitation to our Community Conversation in March that embraces aspects of this work.
Our updated calendar is linked, which includes our most recent information about snow days. MS Semester 2 Calendar of Events
Stay safe and healthy!